Describe Yourself In 5 Words (Basic Interview Question)

Describe Yourself In 5 Words - Interview Question

Hopefully, you are reading this before your interview and not dwelling on the questions you may or may not have answered correctly.

Maybe you’re searching for all the help you can get online before your next big interview.

Either way, being asked to describe yourself in five words is a very common interview question.

There are people who can talk about themselves all day.

Despite how you feel about these people, they are at quite an advantage here!

Don’t Say, “I Don’t Know!”

Never, ever, ever say, “I don’t know,” in response to this question!

If you don’t know how to describe yourself, then what else don’t you know?

In other words, it leaves a bad impression.

What leaves a good impression?

Giving a cool, calm, and confident response.

This type of response gives the hiring manager the impression that you are the type of person who comes prepared.

And this can only work in your favor.

Just one reason why it helps to prepare your responses ahead of time!

Don’t Be So General

Try to avoid general verbiage when you describe yourself.

Examples of this would be:

  • team-player
  • punctual
  • committed

Don’t get us wrong, these are good descriptive words.

They are also very general descriptive words.

That’s why everyone uses them.

These words might describe you, but it should also be assumed in any candidate and will come across as boring.

Think of how many people are going to give these basic answers.

Don’t be like them!

Set yourself apart from the masses and provide truthful character traits that will resonate with the interviewer.

Also, make sure to avoid words that one can perceive as negative such as:

  • stubborn
  • out-spoken
  • independent

Choose words that can only leave a positive impression.

So, if the goal is to avoid the generic and anything that can come off as negative, what can you say?

What Do I Say?

Let’s say you can think of a handful of good words on the spot.

Or maybe you’re unsure if the words you can think of are any good.

Whatever you do, try to avoid simply listing descriptive words.

Rather, give a short story to support your claim.

Below is a list of appropriate answers to the interview question, "Can you describe yourself in 5 words?"

Diligent/Loyal/Reliable

I am always the first person that my friends call because they know I am always there for them. I put the same effort into making sure my work is done correctly, and I am always available to help my peers.

Creative/Innovative

I love trying new things, creating new methods, and introducing new ideas. My creativity has grown to help me solve problems in the workplace that others can’t by thinking differently.

Motivated/Ambitious/Leader

I believe I am very driven. Throughout college, I was active in three clubs, worked full time, and still managed to graduate at the top of my class. As the oldest sibling, I have always been somewhat of a leader. My brothers and sisters constantly look up to me for advice.

Honest/Ethical 

Ever since I was a little kid I have tried to stay ethical. I remember one time I found six Disneyland tickets and $200 cash in an envelope. I turned the envelope into the store where I found it. My honesty paid off when no one came to claim it and I was able to keep the content.

Friendly/Social

All my friends tell me that I am the nicest person they know. I always enjoy meeting new people and love making new friends. My naturally networking abilities have allowed me to excel in sales roles.

It is important to think of relevant explanations that align with your type of work.

Be strategic.

There may be 50 words that describe yourself.

However, pick the five that will be valued most for the position at hand.

Tell them how these words apply to your life and give an example that backs it up.

This may be difficult for those who are shy and have problems opening up, but this is a great life skill.

Don’t be afraid to think about your answer ahead of time so you can shine your character in the best possible light.

Describing Yourself Should Be Easy

The best way to prepare for this question is just that.

Prepare!

If you are able to successfully describe yourself in 5 words, you will come off as a confident and capable candidate.

Nobody knows you better than yourself so all you have to do is put it into words!

50 Top Job Interview Questions & Answers

So you are interested in taking your interview preparation to the next level?

If so, check out our amazing article on the 50 Top Job Interview Questions & Answers.

Best of luck!

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